The people of Galashiels and the Central Borders are being invited to take part in a Tapestry Way Study, commissioned by Energise Galashiels Trust, that seeks to assess the regeneration potential of the town centre, with a focus on Channel Street and Douglas Bridge.
The Trust recognises that key parts of the town centre, particularly around Channel Street, need to be more attractive, vibrant, and accessible, to encourage locals and visitors to use the shops and services in the town.
The views of the local community are welcomed, and the Trust is particularly keen to hear what experiences and offers locals would like to see in their town. Mike Gray, Chair of Energise Galashiels Trust said: “There is a need for our town to evolve, given the social and cultural changes we are seeing here, which are like those seen throughout the UK and beyond. We strongly believe the people of Galashiels should play a role in deciding what comes next for their town centre.”
The Study, commissioned by the Trust, funded by South of Scotland Enterprise and Scottish Borders Council, aims to encourage the local community to share their views. A drop in community consultation event is being held at the Great Tapestry of Scotland Visitor Centre on Friday 25th of February between 10am and 7pm. Residents, businesses, community organisations, public & third sector organisations are welcome to drop in at any time during the day to hear about some initial concepts being considered and to give their feedback and ideas.
For those unable to attend and/or want to provide some direct feedback virtually, an online survey is live until the 11th of March 2022. The survey can be accessed via the Galashiels Heartland of the Borders Facebook Page.
With the opening of the Great Tapestry of Scotland Visitor Centre, Galashiels is already attracting new businesses and additional visitors to the town centre. Some positive signs of new developments are already apparent with a number of new businesses opening in the town centre over the last 9 months, despite the challenges of the COVID19 pandemic.
The aim the Study is to highlight new and additional opportunities, which will create a more attractive, vibrant and accessible town centre for all. Energise Galashiels has appointed a multi-disciplined consultant team led by Montagu Evans and Oberlanders/ LUC.
The study reports are due for publication in early April and will indicate which sectors may have commercial interest in investing in Galashiels, assess potential solutions for key sites, evaluate the overall state of town centre properties, and propose options for improved public spaces.
Professor Russel Griggs, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise commented: “We are delighted to be working with Energise Galashiels on this Study. Our towns are a focal point for community and business life. The community’s views will be critical to shaping the future of Galashiels and we encourage residents and locals to take the opportunity to participate.”
Councillor Mark Rowley, Leader of Scottish Borders Council highlighted: “Our Council is committed to supporting the regeneration of all of our town centres.
“In Galashiels the significant investment to deliver the Great Tapestry of Scotland brings a huge opportunity, so we are keen to ensure that the town centre is as vibrant, attractive and welcoming as possible for our growing numbers of visitors and for local residents too.
“The Great Tapestry of Scotland, managed by our partners, Live Borders, is already a great success and it is important we look at how we can use it to support Galashiels and ensure we work with the whole town centre to deliver a great visitor experience and maximise the economic benefits to the town and region.
“This study will provide key pointers for potential next stages of investment. The more input that both the local community and the wider Borders community has into that process the better the outcomes will be for both the town and the wider Scottish Borders too.”